Saturday, 11 October 2008

Hedging On Gibb's Island

What a lovely day it has been today. I left home at about nine o'clock for the National Trust's Gibb's Island on Strangford Lough, County Down. Managing to park on the island, I saw Craig's truck there already. Our day's work was to be at the old, stone wall on the western side of the island, endeavouring to practice the art of hawthorn hedge-laying. It was yet another opportunity for me to get the chopper out, swing it around and generally put it to good, productive use.

Hedge-laying is somewhat labour-intensive, insofar as the amount of time it takes to create such a small stretch of hedge. Nevertheless it is valuable and worthwhile. In this regard, at least, volunteers must be invaluable.

We found a sunny spot near the shore at lunchtime, opposite Hare Island, and enjoyed a good old natter with our tea and sandwiches. Cheese and onion - now 99p - were the order of the day; and a bar of chunky Kit-Kat. There were six of us today, including two NT staff.

Gibb's Island really is a wonderful place, so picturesque. The wild-flower meadow has been cut for the winter and the grass is short. Craig told me a bit about their stay on Salt Island last month. I think six of them spent the night there, and had chilli con carne for supper!

Patricia told me that she'd be dining at the Primrose Bar in Ballynahinch this evening, with her rambling club. The menu for the evening sounded delicious - it made me envious! I look forward to hearing all about it.

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